Elizabeth Murray, a New York painter who reshaped Modernist abstraction into a high-spirited, cartoon-based, language of form whose subjects included domestic life, relationships and the nature of painting itself, died yesterday at her home in upstate New York. (Images)
Bill Walsh, 11/30/1931-7/30/2007. Walsh, former coach of the San Francisco 49er's (cool tribute up on their site, currently), lost his fight with Leukemia yesterday. His career included an impressive 6 division titles and 3 super bowl wins, and his inventions included many tactics and devices still being used by many teams today, including the West Coast Offense and those laminated play cards you see many coaches using. He was also the creator of the Minority Coaching Fellowship program, helping minority coaches get a foothold in a previously white-dominated profession. RIP, Bill.
What are you doing? Stop it! Stop it! Give me those pictures. You can't photograph people like that. Who says I can't? I'm only doing my job. Some people are bullfighters, some people are politicians. I'm a photographer.
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1912 - 2007.
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1912 - 2007.
Peter Stafford, psychedelics investigator and author of the Psychedelics Encyclopedia (PDF preview), has died. [Via BB.]
Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner has passed away. Love her or hate her, she has been a cultural fixture. Televangelist in the midst of a landmark scandal, documentary subject, friend and hero to the gay community, friend of Ron Jeremy.
Game developer/ perfume critic Theresa Duncan has died, and longtime companion Jeremy Blake is missing. The art world is buzzing about the seeming suicide-by-water of video installation artist Jeremy Blake. The perfume blogs are fizzing with sadness over the death of Theresa Duncan, whose suicide preceded Blake's. The cops are not releasing the notes left by the late, pretty people, but a clue might be found in the paranoiac screed Duncan posted on her blog in May, in which Blake's ex-girlfriend, the CIA, FBI, Church of Scientology, Jeff Gannon, bloated plutocrats and many other bugbears of the psy-ops crowd were put on Duncan's mental merry-go-round and given a real strong spin.
Poet Sekou Sundiata died on the 18th. If you aren't familiar with his work, you can listen to him here. Interviews here.
Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson passed away today. During her infancy, a nursemaid commented, "She's as pretty as a ladybird", and that nickname virtually replaced her given name for the rest of her life. Perhaps her most important impact was her efforts to protect American wild-flowers and other natural places. She is also the namesake of the Hill family dog.
Wallace Seawell's portraits virtually created the classic Hollywood look.
Obit with small gallery.
More photos via Google Images.
Obit with small gallery.
More photos via Google Images.
Coming weeks after the fake (and illegal?) "death" of WWE supremo Vince McMahon, police have confirmed the deaths of Canadian pro wrestler Chris "Wild Pegasus"/"The Dyname Kid" Benoit, his wife and son. Gone too soon. Relive his greatest hits through the just-posted tributes on YouTube:     .
Rudy Autio, the Matisse of the ceramics world, has passed away at age 70. Born in 1926 to a Finnish family in ethnically diverse and bustling Butte, Montana, Rudy went on to study ceramics with Frances Senska at MSU. There he met future ceramics titan, Peter Voulkos, and became founding residents of the Archie Bray Foundation. Because of their revolutionary work, the 2 of them helped bring recognition to a field that had previously only been considered craft. Autio's giant torso-shaped vessels are often decorated with post-impressionistic horses and dancing women, but he also ventured into printmaking, tapestry design and murals. According to Ken Little, "If the ceramics world had a Mount Rushmore, it would be Peter Voulkos, Rudy, Paul Soldner and Don Reitz."
Kurt Waldheim dies at 88: Wehrmacht lieutenant, Fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of Austria. R.I.P.
RIP Don Herbert Better known as Mr. Wizard, you taught several generations basic science and a love of experimentation. You will be missed. Sorry for the one-link ObitFilter
Automotive journalist, cartoonist and architect Earl Ma passed away this week after a three year battle with cancer. But you would never have known it from how he lived his life. Last month, he refused to let his partial paralysis keep him away from the Indianapolis 500 (though fellow Hawaiian Jim Nabors was too ill to attend), and with the help of friends covered the race from his wheelchair. His boundless energy, generosity and wide range of talents earned him many friends and admirers, and he is already greatly missed.
Famed Arabic calligrapher Khalil al-Zahawi murdered. (Arabic: خليل الزهاوي; 1946 - 25 May 2007) Khalil al-Zahawi was the most famous practitioner in Iraq of the art of writing classical Arabic script. He was shot to death Friday as he left his home.
Yahweh ben Yahweh is dead. He was an advocate of black separatism and supremacy, dubbing Martin Luther King, Jr. a "dead dog preacher," who would later go to prison on conspiracy charges, thanks to the helpful testimony of a certain Cardinals quarterback who is now serving 25-to-life himself for writing bad checks. Alternatively, you can check out his own website for his side of the story.
Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007). Master cellist and renowned conductor, Rostropovich was one of the great artistic dissidents of the Soviet Union. He started his career as a star of the Moscow Conservatory and lived long enough to play his cello in the rubble of the Berlin Wall. More from the Associated Press and Wikipedia.
David Halbertstam dead in tragic car accident. Experienced, eloquent, and always observant (his dim view of Patrick Ewing being a notable exception), David Halberstam was a journalistic jack-of-all-trades who was probably best known for his stinging indictment of Vietnam warrior Robert McNamara, JFK and LBJ's secretary of defense, in the classic The Best and the Brightest. A superior war correspondent before the era of CNN-televised revolutions , Halberstam was also an excellent historian and sports writer. Halberstam's dense but illuminating The Fifties is an informative and tightly written study on the Eisenhower era. And The Children offers a compelling look at eight young leaders of the Civil Rights Revolution. Moreover, Halberstam's many writings on basketball (The Breaks of the Game, Playing for Keeps) and baseball (Summer of '49, October 1964) rank among the upper echelon of sports books.
Yeltsin said: "I want to beg forgiveness for your dreams that never came true. And also I would like to beg forgiveness not to have justified your hopes." Boris Yeltsin is dead. [AP story]
Kurt Vonnegut, Writer of Classics of the American Counterculture, Dies at 84 "His death was reported by Morgan Entrekin, a longtime family friend, who said Mr. Vonnegut suffered brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago. Mr. Vonnegut wrote plays, essays and short fiction. But it was his novels that became classics of the American counterculture, making him a literary idol, particularly to students in the 1960s and ’70s. Dog-eared paperback copies of his books could be found in the back pockets of blue jeans and in dorm rooms on campuses throughout the United States." .
"Porky's was about anti-Semitism, about racism, it's not just about boys with erections," claims Clark. He then adds, pun intended, "It was a seminal film." Bob Clark, Director of two iconic 1980's films that profoundly impacted some of your childhoods (no doubt in decidedly different ways), and his 22 year-old son were in a fatal car crash on PCH this morning. This was set to be a promising year for the man who brought Ralphie and his bunny suit to the world. R.I.P.
Grambling State's Eddie Robinson has passed away. "It was almost like a marriage... Grambling needed him. They met just at the right time, and when they met, they both grew." [popup player, be patient] Over the course of a 50-year tenure, Robinson amassed over 400 wins and sent over 200 players to the NFL. His philosophy? Develop players who are winners both on and off the field. GSU is also known for its world famous marching band. You may recall their performance in this year's Rose Bowl Parade.
After twelve years of not getting laid, Yan Yan the Chinese panda finally kicked the bucket late Monday at the Berlin Zoo. Officials admits she died alone and nobody immediately noticed. Now the media is running with the story that the popularity of Knut the polar bear cub may be the reason behind the death of his neighbor. In other news, the European Union celebrated its 50th birthday in Berlin. Nobody noticed.
John Inman, RIP --better known as the campy stereotype Mr. Humphries on Are You Being Served? (a gay icon?)
The passing away of Ernest Gallo makes front-page news on CNN. What didn't get top billing was the death of Ernest's brother Joseph just two weeks ago (nytS), the youngest of three who was sued by his more famous older brothers for trying to sell cheese under the Gallo name. Joseph was never close to his brothers, despite being raised by them after their parents' murder-suicide. But hey, what's a FPP without a little upside - play the Gallo Food & Wine Matchmaker.
RIP Heather MacAllister. "Any time there is a fat person onstage as anything besides the butt of a joke, it’s political. Add physical movement, then dance, then sexuality and you have a revolutionary act.” Founder of Big Burlesque and Venus Group, she died Feb 13 after a long fight with ovarian cancer. She was notably photographed by Leonard Nimoy. Multiple memorial services are planned for her birthday, Feb 25. [some links may be NSFW]
On Friday, Ian Richardson died in his sleep. He was probably best known in the UK for the BBC "House of Cards" trilogy starring as the scheming politician Francis Urquhart with his now infamous "You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment." Busy until his death, he recently featured in the TV series "Midsomer Murders" and played Death in the Sky One adaptation of Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather". Sadly, to many he was just the guy who asked for Grey Poupon mustard.
News Filter Anna Nicole Smith collapses and dies suddenly.
Rev. Robert F. Drinan, first priest to be a voting member of Congress died Sunday He was 86. In his time, Father Drinan was a priest, law professor and human rights advocate. He was also controversial.
Dora McDonald, Martin Luther King's private secretary from 1960 until his death, has died at age 81. While few have heard of Ms. McDonald, she was a very important figure in King's work, and was the one who had to tell Coretta Scott King that her husband had been murdered.
Richard Horne, better known as Harry Horse, died this weekend. This news is more prominent in the UK than in the US, but Harry Horse (MySpace) was not only a writer and illustrator of children's books, but he also designed video games and drew striking political cartoons. In the 80's he played with a band called Swamptrash (listened to but unavailable on LastFM), whose other members eventually went on to form Shooglenifty. Tragically, Richard's wife Mandy developed Multiple Sclerosis, and eventually became confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak. Rather than live without her, he chose to help her die and then take his own life, possibly reigniting the discussion in the UK about euthanasia.
Yvonne Decarlo has died. Despite an extensive filmography, she will probably always be remembered as Lily Munster.
Sneaky Pete Kleinow, [Wikipedia | Allmusic] passed away Saturday, January 6 at the age of 72. In addition to being an incredible pedal steel guitar player, most notably with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, he was also an accomplished visual effects artist who worked on films such as The Empire Strikes Back, Terminator I & II, and Army of Darkness.
MSNBC and NBC News is reporting that former President Gerald Ford has died at age 93.
Jerry Berns, long time co-owner of the "21 Club" in Manhattan, has passed away at the age of 99. The club started as a speakeasy on 21 W. 52nd St. (wmv), used to be home to the $21 burger (now it costs $27), and was sold in 1985 to a business magnate for $21 million. Berns may have made it a point to pass away on the 21st of December, not to be outdone Pete Kriendler, co-owner of the club, who died on the same day five years ago.
Saparmurat Niyazov is dead. The self-designated "father of the Turkmen" was the absolute ruler of Turkmenistan for fifteen years, a minor middle-Asian country which would completely escape the notice of the West if it wasn't for Turkmenbashi's unique form of excess and its oil. Along with the usual human rights violations and wallowing in wealth -- an estimated $3 billion cached in private accounts -- he dedicated himself to reshaping Turkmen's philosophy and cosmology on a scale to inspire Kim Jong Il. Among his accomplishments are redefining the ages of Man and renaming the names of days and months after neutrality, the flag, and Turkmenbashi's mother. Who now will speak up for Turkmen Melon Day?
The last of the great animation directors has died. Joe Barbera was half of the Hanna-Barbera duo that created the Oscar-winning Tom and Jerry cartoons for MGM. When that studio closed, they learned how to do cartoons for television on a much smaller budget, and gave us so many memorable characters. Mark Evanier worked for Barbera, and is sharing his memories on his always excellent blog.
Ahmet Ertegun, 1923-2006. Co-founder of Atlantic Records, 83 year-old Ertegun had been in a coma since he fell backstage at a concert by The Rolling Stones at Beacon Theatre, NYC, in October. Very comprehensive obit -- more complete than either the one in Variety or New York Times -- to be found in UK's Guardian
ahhh...puttin on the Ritz. this makes me sad.
Leslie Harpold Remembered When her annual advent calendar was not updated after December 7th people all over the web started to express concern over Leslie Harpold's absence. Sadly it has been confirmed that she died sometime last week. I think Leslie would be touched to see the way friends and strangers have spontaneously posted remembrances of her via a medium she loved and help mold.